Starting blocks

A month or so before Christmas each year my mum delegates a few culinary tasks across the family for us to provide, either to cook,bake or bring. My mum keeps the pastry baking and gingerbread house construction, my step dad takes care of the drinks, my sister has oftentimes cooked the main meal of the day.

Each year I gleefully offer up my services and suggest things I could do. Each year I am met with a dozen fearful looking eyes, a slight giggle and a cautious suggestion that maybe I could bring cheeses and fruits. I’m not a hugely bad cook -I’ve never poisoned anyone that I’m aware of but I’m not good either! Historically thoughI have almost set fire to the kitchen making marshmallows, forgot scrambled eggs in the microwave (until a week later) and halved all the ingredients except the chillies in a recipe serving two rather than four. I cook to exist, often hugely over pepper dishes or create inedible concoctions. No one wants to take that risk on a big occasion!

I have decided next year this will happen no more and this little blog is to chart my progress through recipes I will (perhaps after a few attempts in some cases) master ready to dazzle next year. Having this as a blog holds me to account to make sure I do it!

The second reason for this blog is I am addicted to cook books! You may have ascertained by now that what I love about them is the way they look. The covers are always beautiful, inside pictures you wish you could reach in for and titles or descriptions that make your mouth water.  However rarely does a recipe make it from page to pot!

From a selection of my lovely looking cookbooks, 52 different recipes have been initially selected, from soups and scones though to gyoza dumplings. (I figured if I had to work it out each day it would never happen!) There were many more than 52 I would love to try but let’s not get carried away just yet.  I’ll stick to one a week for now! :).

Below is my plan and the sources for the recipes in case anyone would like to accompany me in having an excuse to try them out.

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